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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 14, 2017, 09:33:46 AM
That does not change the fact that DACA dreamers stories are going to be a real tough story to counter politically.
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: February 14, 2017, 09:32:23 AM
http://time.com/4670027/rahm-emanuel-reince-priebus-jared-kushner-donald-trump/
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Regs for the new laws being contested on: February 14, 2017, 09:27:15 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/13/gun-rights-advocates-in-california-brace-for-long-/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTldSaE4ySTJaREkxTW1VMyIsInQiOiJxYUNkT1R3UFwveGdJaW45aGFNQ0pwTWo4UkZGMHhYZUpsQldpNHJFUEd2MXBWZXVXUWErRUJJTmpZdXgzVmtqSGd2Q3pOWDFMTTNFOHFIK2xkMkI5TWVyUXJORWVxdW5RekRjSWNRVnB6d3VSTTVBYys2Z081Rk1ZVW9OYW40M3kifQ%3D%3D
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ben Shapiro on: February 14, 2017, 12:05:33 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqzN0nqiJyQ
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sauce for the Goose and the Gander on: February 13, 2017, 10:49:53 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/13/republicans-railed-against-clintons-extremely-careless-behavior-now-theyve-got-a-trump-dilemma/?utm_term=.94d24897c8ce
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California asks for Federal Disaster Relief on: February 13, 2017, 10:47:04 PM
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/02/trump-suddenly-recognized-president-california-liberal-state-begs-help/
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Judge Robert wrong 72X on: February 13, 2017, 08:57:47 PM


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/12/terror-convicts-came-from-countries-targeted-for-e/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTlRZNU1Ua3pZVGMxWTJWaSIsInQiOiJxU2RxUlg3bGhvaGVKV3A2MVV2aVhza2lOMUhDXC9pU0ZtRkR1YVU1TUtzaFpaazFQK21ReGxTRE1VNnJ6SWxYaHprdlNOeDJsdUkyRDA0eHhkdWdxMDE1XC9QQm9GVlAyWk92T2Q0Tk5PRUtueEJ4NU9NOFFrN05XbFJkUmpGbDdFIn0%3D
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Representative Keith Ellison on: February 13, 2017, 08:33:36 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/02/13/anti-trump-jewish-rally-for-refugees-organizer-funded-by-obama-government-to-resettle-refugees/
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pay Day Loans on: February 13, 2017, 05:44:31 PM
Nope, this was it  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDylgzybWAw

210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 13, 2017, 05:38:03 PM
GM:

Maybe this was it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c 
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Possible Alzheimer cure on: February 13, 2017, 05:35:17 PM
http://www.sciencealert.com/new-alzheimer-s-treatment-fully-restores-memory-function
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: KISS on: February 13, 2017, 05:09:51 PM
________________________________________
Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 2/13/2017

The biggest tax debate in Washington right now is not between Republicans and Democrats, but between Republicans and Republicans. Both sides of the debate seem to understand that the US tax code, particularly the fact that the US has the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized country, is harming the competitiveness of US companies.

Both sides want to cut this tax rate and both sides want to allow for full and immediate expensing of business investment in plant and equipment. Both sides also propose to end the deduction for the interest companies pay on their (new) debts.

What they're fighting about is making the US corporate tax system "border adjustable." Some want to exempt from taxation any income generated by exports, and at the same time, no longer allow US companies to deduct the cost of imports from revenue. Like a Value-Added Tax (VAT) used in many other countries, the idea would be to promote exports. Meanwhile, it would create a level playing field between foreign and US companies trying to sell to US consumers.

Let's say the new tax rate is 20%. A Napa Valley vineyard could produce a $100 wine and pay $20 in taxes. Then, after a retailer sells that bottle for $150, the retailer pays a $10 tax on their $50 profit. Total, the IRS gets $30. If the retailer buys the $100 bottle from a French vineyard and sells it for the same $150, the retailer now pays the 20% tax rate on the full $150, and so sends the IRS the total tax of $30.

The retailer's revenues don't change, but its tax payments to the IRS soar while its after-tax profits plummet. In effect, a border adjustable tax forces US retailers to attempt to extract tax payments from foreign producers or US consumers. This is why retailers in the US are fighting so hard against it.

Some say retailers shouldn't care because the value of the dollar will soar as well, reducing the cost of imports. But, if this is really true, why haven't all the other countries with border adjustments in their VATs been able to take down the dollar? The theory might work on an academic chalkboard, but the value of the dollar depends on many factors. Betting on a stronger dollar to fix border adjustable tax rate problems is a HUGE gamble.

Don't get us wrong, the US should have lower tax rates. But why not just do it within the corporate tax system we already have instead of a system that's never been tried before? Trillions of dollars of decisions have been made based on the tax system we have in place today. Having the government suddenly change the "rules of the game" will create massive windfall winners and losers that may completely offset any potential positives from a change in the tax code.

Meanwhile, what if the forecast of a stronger dollar really happens? Many emerging-market companies borrow in dollars and might find it hard to repay their debts at the same time they find it tougher exporting to the US. Would the US find itself on the hook for foreign bailouts? And what about US exporters? Wouldn't a stronger dollar make it harder for Boeing to sell abroad and compete against Airbus? Would Boeing then lobby the government for looser monetary policy and a weaker dollar?

Instead, we need to keep tax reform simple. Policymakers should focus on cutting tax rates and excessive regulation (to make the US more competitive) and not get distracted by policy changes that will create big (and often arbitrary) windfall winners and losers.
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Carbon Tax on: February 13, 2017, 04:56:35 PM
If they would use the revenues to eliminate other taxes I would be for it.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / With Obama gone, Israel popular with the Dems again on: February 13, 2017, 04:54:11 PM
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/netanyahu-dc-meetings/
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 13, 2017, 11:41:10 AM

Thank you, will watch it later today.

In the meantime, is this a fight we need to undertake now?

Retirement Advice in the Trump Era

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD NYT
FEB. 11, 2017


A federal judge in Texas did President Trump a favor last week. It came in a decision in a case filed by the financial industry against the Labor Department to overturn an Obama-era regulation called the “fiduciary rule,” which requires financial advisers to put their clients’ interests first when giving advice and selling investments for retirement accounts.

The judge, Barbara Lynn, called the plaintiffs’ objections “without merit,” “unpersuasive” and “at odds with market realities.”

If Mr. Trump were smart, he’d see the judge’s decision as a warning that he chose an ill-advised course on Feb. 3, when he sided with Wall Street, and against savers and retirees, by calling for a review and possible rollback of the rule, which is slated to take effect in April. As Judge Lynn’s decision makes clear, the rule is solid, and those behind the rollback effort, which was spearheaded by Gary Cohn, Mr. Trump’s top economic adviser and, until recently, president of Goldman Sachs, would have a difficult time asserting otherwise.
Photo
Gary Cohn at Trump Tower in January. Credit Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

The only rationale for a rollback would be to entrench a status quo in which retirement savers forfeit an estimated $17 billion each year to stockbrokers, insurance agents and other advisers who steer them into high-cost strategies and products when comparable lower-cost options are available.

The fiduciary rule, developed by the Obama Labor Department over years of painstaking analysis and open debate, is a common-sense safeguard with far-reaching consequences. By requiring that advice be prudent and transparent about fees and conflicts of interest, it helps to ensure that the billions of dollars currently siphoned off in overly expensive investments would instead remain with savers and retirees.

The financial industry has argued that the Labor Department has no authority to impose a fiduciary duty on retirement advisers. Citing federal pension law, the courts have found otherwise and have even indicated that the government waited too long to assert its authority. Judge Lynn quoted approvingly from Labor Department research that justified the need for a fiduciary rule by noting that the explosion of 401(k)’s and I.R.A.s in recent decades had shifted decision making responsibility onto individuals, but without updating the regulation of advisers. That mismatch has created a confusing system, in which some advisers adhere to a fiduciary standard and many others don’t, while clients generally assume they are getting advice when they are really getting sales pitches.

Industry foes of the fiduciary rule have also argued that the rule will limit consumer choice. That is true insofar as it will remove conflicted, self-serving advice from the menu of options presented to clients. But that is not a flaw in the rule; it is the rule’s purpose. The courts have found that in crafting the fiduciary rule, regulators reasonably weighed the harm to savers from biased advice against the harm to advisers from the obligation to deliver impartial advice. The result, they said, is a rule that deserves to stand.

The court’s findings will greatly complicate any review of the rule by the Trump administration, because regulators would have to rebut findings that have already withstood legal challenge. And not just any legal challenge. Financial industry groups bent over backward to ensure that their case would be heard in Texas, where courts are seen to be industry-friendly. But even there they lost. That’s because they were wrong, on all counts.

216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq and bin Laden, kept from the memory hole on: February 12, 2017, 11:52:19 PM
Very good to have this collected in one thread! 
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 12, 2017, 11:51:06 PM
GM:  See if you can find the John Oliver show on this, then tell me what you think.
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Shadow War between CIA and President Trump? on: February 12, 2017, 11:48:08 PM
Let's use this thread for this subject:

I do not know the author or his motivations-- it may well be a piece of complete disintel-- but a very disconcerting piece nonetheless:

http://observer.com/2017/02/donald-trump-administration-mike-flynn-russian-embassy/
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Swedish feminist govt officials go to Iran on: February 12, 2017, 02:42:01 PM
https://www.unwatch.org/walk-shame-swedens-first-feminist-government-don-hijabs-iran/
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 12, 2017, 02:30:13 PM
If I have it right, Trump is in the process of reversing the regs under Dodd-Franks that protect not-so-bright consumers from the predations of short term loan operations.  John Oliver did a segment on this that impressed me, so it looks like I am about to be unhappy with this development-- which plays right into the Dem playbook I might add.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism, crony capitalism, SJW: on: February 12, 2017, 02:09:56 PM
Second post of the day:

Much here is astounding in its lack of self-awareness, but amidst the self-righteous hyperbole, is there anything of merit to be gleaned? 

At the very least, this serves as an insight into why some of the Left is wound up so tight in this moment.


http://international.sueddeutsche.de/post/157058066625/we-have-at-most-a-year-to-defend-american
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: February 12, 2017, 01:46:19 PM
Taking this discussion over to the Fascism thread. 

At the moment I am definitely not at ease with some of the things I have read.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bannon, Gorka, the Alt Right, and Fascism on: February 12, 2017, 01:44:56 PM
I think the second item below gets in right with regard to Trump, but with regard to Bannon and Gorka, (whom I had liked until now) my spider sense begins to tingle , , ,
==========================

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/europe/bannon-vatican-julius-evola-fascism.html?smid=fb-share
Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists
By JASON HOROWITZFEB. 10, 2017

Stephen K. Bannon referred to the Italian philosopher Julius Evola in a Vatican speech in 2014. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

ROME — Those trying to divine the roots of Stephen K. Bannon’s dark and at times apocalyptic worldview have repeatedly combed over a speech that Mr. Bannon, President Trump’s ideological guru, made in 2014 to a Vatican conference, where he expounded on Islam, populism and capitalism.

But for all the examination of those remarks, a passing reference by Mr. Bannon to an esoteric Italian philosopher has gone little noticed, except perhaps by scholars and followers of the deeply taboo, Nazi-affiliated thinker, Julius Evola.

“The fact that Bannon even knows Evola is significant,” said Mark Sedgwick, a leading scholar of Traditionalists at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Evola, who died in 1974, wrote on everything from Eastern religions to the metaphysics of sex to alchemy. But he is best known as a leading proponent of Traditionalism, a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.

Evola became a darling of Italian Fascists, and Italy’s post-Fascist terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s looked to him as a spiritual and intellectual godfather.

They called themselves Children of the Sun after Evola’s vision of a bourgeoisie-smashing new order that he called the Solar Civilization. Today, the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn includes his works on its suggested reading list, and the leader of Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalist party, admires Evola and wrote an introduction to his works.

More important for the current American administration, Evola also caught on in the United States with leaders of the alt-right movement, which Mr. Bannon nurtured as the head of Breitbart News and then helped harness for Mr. Trump.

“Julius Evola is one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century,” said Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who is a top figure in the alt-right movement, which has attracted white supremacists, racists and anti-immigrant elements.

In the days after the election, Mr. Spencer led a Washington alt-right conference in chants of “Hail Trump!” But he also invoked Evola’s idea of a prehistoric and pre-Christian spirituality — referring to the awakening of whites, whom he called the Children of the Sun.

Mr. Spencer said “it means a tremendous amount” that Mr. Bannon was aware of Evola and other Traditionalist thinkers.

“Even if he hasn’t fully imbibed them and been changed by them, he is at least open to them,” he said. “He at least recognizes that they are there. That is a stark difference to the American conservative movement that either was ignorant of them or attempted to suppress them.”

Mr. Bannon, who did not return a request for comment for this article, is an avid and wide-ranging reader. He has spoken enthusiastically about everything from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe, which sees history in cycles of cataclysmic and order-obliterating change. His awareness of and reference to Evola in itself only reflects that reading. But some on the alt-right consider Mr. Bannon a door through which Evola’s ideas of a hierarchical society run by a spiritually superior caste can enter in a period of crisis.

“Evolists view his ship as coming in,” said Prof. Richard Drake at the University of Montana, who wrote about Evola in his book “The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy.”

For some of them, it has been a long time coming.

“It’s the first time that an adviser to the American president knows Evola, or maybe has a Traditionalist formation,” said Gianfranco De Turris, an Evola biographer and apologist based in Rome who runs the Evola Foundation out of his apartment.

“If Bannon has these ideas, we have to see how he influences the politics of Trump,” he said.

A March article titled “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right” in Breitbart, the website then run by Mr. Bannon, included Evola as one of the thinkers in whose writings the “origins of the alternative right” could be found.

The article was co-written by Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur who is wildly popular with conservatives on college campuses. Mr. Trump recently defended Mr. Yiannopoulos as a symbol of free speech after demonstrators violently protested his planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

The article celebrated the youthful internet trolls who give the alt-right movement its energy and who, motivated by a common and questionable sense of humor, use anti-Semitic and racially charged memes “in typically juvenile but undeniably hysterical fashion.”

“It’s hard to imagine them reading Evola,” the article continued. “They may be inclined to sympathize to those causes, but mainly because it annoys the right people.”

Evola, who has more than annoyed people for nearly a century, seems to be having a moment.

“When I started working on Evola, you had to plow through Italian,” said Mr. Sedgwick, who keeps track of Traditionalist movements and thought on his blog, Traditionalists. “Now he’s available in English, German, Russian, Serbian, Greek, Hungarian. First I saw Evola boom, and then I realized the number of people interested in that sort of idea was booming.”

Born in 1898, Evola liked to call himself a baron and in later life sported a monocle in his left eye.

A brilliant student and talented artist, he came home after fighting in World War I and became a leading exponent in Italy of the Dada movement, which, like Evola, rejected the church and bourgeois institutions.

Evola’s early artistic endeavors gave way to his love of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and he developed a worldview with an overriding animosity toward the decadence of modernity. Influenced by mystical works and the occult, Evola began developing an idea of the individual’s ability to transcend his reality and “be unconditionally whatever one wants.”

Under the influence of René Guénon, a French metaphysicist and convert to Islam, Evola in 1934 published his most influential work, “The Revolt Against the Modern World,” which cast materialism as an eroding influence on ancient values.

It viewed humanism, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution all as historical disasters that took man further away from a transcendental perennial truth.

Changing the system, Evola argued, was “not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up.”

Evola’s ideal order, Professor Drake wrote, was based on “hierarchy, caste, monarchy, race, myth, religion and ritual.”

That made a fan out of Benito Mussolini.

The dictator already admired Evola’s early writings on race, which influenced the 1938 Racial Laws restricting the rights of Jews in Italy.

Mussolini so liked Evola’s 1941 book, “Synthesis on the Doctrine of Race,” which advocated a form of spiritual, and not merely biological, racism, that he invited Evola to meet him in September of that year.

Evola eventually broke with Mussolini and the Italian Fascists because he considered them overly tame and corrupted by compromise. Instead he preferred the Nazi SS officers, seeing in them something closer to a mythic ideal. They also shared his anti-Semitism.

(Photo:  A demonstration last month by Golden Dawn, the Greek neo-Nazi party, which includes Evola’s works on a suggested reading list. Credit Michalis Karagiannis/Reuters)

Mr. Bannon suggested in his Vatican remarks that the Fascist movement had come out of Evola’s ideas. As Mr. Bannon expounded on the intellectual motivations of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, he mentioned “Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the Traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian Fascism.”

The reality, historians say, is that Evola sought to “infiltrate and influence” the Fascists, as Mr. Sedgwick put it, as a powerful vehicle to spread his ideas.

In his Vatican talk, Mr. Bannon suggested that although Mr. Putin represented a “kleptocracy,” the Russian president understood the existential danger posed by “a potential new caliphate” and the importance of using nationalism to stand up for traditional institutions.

“We, the Judeo-Christian West,” Mr. Bannon added, “really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as Traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.”

As Mr. Bannon suggested in his speech, Mr. Putin’s most influential thinker is Aleksandr Dugin, the ultra-nationalist Russian Traditionalist and anti-liberal writer sometimes called “Putin’s Rasputin.”

An intellectual descendant of Evola, Mr. Dugin has called for a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary, and consistent fascist fascism” and advocated a geography-based theory of “Eurasianism” — which has provided a philosophical framework for Mr. Putin’s expansionism and meddling in Western European politics.

Mr. Dugin sees European Traditionalists as needing Russia, and Mr. Putin, to defend them from the onslaught of Western liberal democracy, individual liberty, and materialism — all Evolian bêtes noires.

This appeal of traditional values on populist voters and against out-of-touch elites, the “Pan-European Union” and “centralized government in the United States,” as Mr. Bannon put it, was not lost on Mr. Trump’s ideological guru.

“A lot of people that are Traditionalists,” he said in his Vatican remarks, “are attracted to that.”
============

Still being irritated by that moronic article in The New York Times ("Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker [Julius Evola] Who Inspired Fascists"), I will cite a recent article from one fascist website because I find this quote very insightful:

"Trump isn’t a racist, and he isn’t a sexist, and he isn’t a fascist. I mean, nobody’s perfect. He’s just the best we’re going to get. But in branding him and his supporters racist, sexist, and fascist, the liberals are actually doing us a huge favor. You see, Trump’s policies are utterly reasonable, and will almost certainly result in ordinary Americans feeling a greater sense of security, and enjoying greater economic opportunity. Trump’s policies are going to work, and he is going to be an extremely popular president. SO . . . If all of this is “racist/sexist/fascist,” the result is going to be that a lot of decent and honest Americans are going to start asking, “What’s so bad about racism, sexism, and fascism?”"

Exactly. There's a non-zero possibility that Trump's regime is eventually successful and popular. After the initial turmoil (immigration ban, the wall, etc.), Trump's policies may become - while still being illiberal - more sophisticated and harder to challenge in courts. Already now, more Americans approve of Trump's chaotic executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries than oppose it. If the liberals convince the larger population that Trump's regime is fascist, this will automatically result in the discursive legitimisation of fascism.

=========================

http://lobelog.com/why-is-trump-adviser-wearing-medal-of-nazi-collaborators/

Why Is Trump Adviser Wearing Medal of Nazi Collaborators?


by Eli Clifton

The White House’s omission of Jewish victims of the Holocaust in its statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day raised objections from Jewish groups across the political spectrum but the Trump administration’s combative defense was perhaps the most surprising move by a presidency facing record low approval numbers. Last Monday, Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka refused to admit that that it may have been poor judgement not to specifically acknowledge the suffering of Jews in the Holocaust.

Gorka was an odd choice of proxies for the White House to put forward in defense of its Holocaust Remembrance day statement.

He has appeared in multiple photographs wearing the medal of a Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

When asked on Monday whether the White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement was “questionable in being the first such statement in many years that didn’t recognize that Jewish extermination was the chief goal of the Holocaust,” Gorka told conservative talk show host Michael Medved:

    No, I’m not going to admit it. Because it’s asinine. It’s absurd. You’re making a statement about the Holocaust. Of course it’s about the Holocaust because that’s what the statement’s about. It’s only reasonable to twist it if your objective is to attack the president.

That statement is particularly noteworthy when viewed in the context of Gorka’s apparent affinity for a Hungarian group with a checkered past.

Gorka, who worked in the UK and Hungary before immigrating to the U.S., was photographed at an inaugural ball wearing a medal from the Hungarian Order of Heroes, Vitezi Rend, a group listed by the State Department as taking direction from Germany’s Nazi government during World War II.

Gorka did not respond to a request for comment but appeared to be wearing the medal on his chest during the Trump inauguration ball and in an undated photo posted on his Facebook page.

gorka2

gorka0

Hungarian Collaborators

Eva Balogh, founder of the news analysis blog Hungarian Spectrum and former professor of Eastern European History at Yale University, confirmed to LobeLog the identity of the medal worn by Gorka. She said:

    Yes, the medal is of the “vitézi rend” established by Miklós Horthy in 1920. He, as a mere governor, didn’t have the privilege to ennoble his subjects as the king could do before 1918, and therefore the “knightly order” he established was a kind of compensation for him. Officers and even enlisted men of exceptional valor could become knights. Between 1920 and 1944 there were 23,000 such knights. The title was inheritable by the oldest son. I found information that makes it clear that Gorka’s father, Pál Gorka, used the title. However, since he was born in 1930 he couldn’t himself be the one “knighted.” So, most likely, it was Gorka’s grandfather who was the original recipient.

Gorka’s PhD dissertation lists his name as “Sebestyén L. v. Gorka,” which suggests that he is carrying on his father’s title, albeit in an abbreviated format, according to Balogh.
gorka3

The Order of Vitezi

Miklós Horthy, regent of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1920 to 1944, established Vitezi Rend for both civilian and military supporters of Horthy’s government. The group was initially open to non-Jews who served in distinction during World War I.

Although Horthy’s personal views about Jews are still debated, he was explicit in endorsing anti-Semitism even while showing some unease with the pace of the Holocaust. In an October 1940 letter to Prime Minister Pál Teleki, Horthy said:

    As regards the Jewish problem, I have been an anti-Semite throughout my life. I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theatre, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad. Since, however, one of the most important tasks of the government is to raise the standard of living, i.e., we have to acquire wealth, it is impossible, in a year or two, to replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands, and to replace them with incompetent, unworthy, mostly big-mouthed elements, for we should become bankrupt. This requires a generation at least.

In April 1941, Hungary became a de facto member of the Axis and permitted German troops to cross Hungary for the invasion of Yugoslavia. The first massacres of Jews took place in August when SS troops murdered between 18,000 and 20,000 Jews without Hungarian citizenship after they’d been deported from Hungary to Ukraine.
gorka4

Horthy and Hitler

By 1944, Horthy may have sought to distance Hungary from Nazi Germany but agreed to deport around 100,000 Jews. The German army removed Horthy from office after it occupied Hungary. Horthy’s actual awareness of the fate of Hungarian Jews remains unclear. But reports by journalists and the State Department in 1942 are explicit about the role played and benefits enjoyed by Vitezi Rend’s members.

A Jewish Telegraph Agency report from October 1942, describes how:

    Confiscated Jewish real estate in Hungary will be distributed by the government among members of the “Hungarian Order of Heroes” it was announced today over the Budapest radio. The order consists of soldiers who distinguished themselves in the last World War or in the present war.

“In 1942 there was a so-called ‘land reform,’” said Balogh. “It actually meant the expropriation of agricultural lands owned by Jewish citizens. According to government propaganda this move was necessary to ease social tensions in the countryside but as a recent study (2015) shows, most of the land went to “loyal, middle-class supporters of the regime, among them members of the ‘vitézi rend.’”

A Checkered Legacy

The State Department lists the Order of Heroes as an organization that was “under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany.” Membership in such groups during World War II could make individuals ineligible for U.S. visas. The State Department’s website warns that membership in groups under this designation:

    [R]enders ineligible for a visa any alien who participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion during the period from March 23, 1933, to May 8, 1945, under the direction of or in association with the Nazi Government of Germany or an allied or occupied government.

Vitezi Rend was banned during the Soviet occupation of Hungary but reestablished in exile. The order was awarded to members of the Hungarian diaspora and individuals in Hungary since 1983. Although appearing to largely promote Hungarian culture and the diaspora, it sought foreign donors to help fund the construction of a statue of Horthy in 2011. A fundraising document read, “We have decided after almost seven decades to erect a statue in honor of our beloved Regent and to remember him, therefore we ask for your support!”

“In post-World War II Hungary, no noble titles of any sort can be officially used,” said Balogh. “The ‘knightly order’ no longer officially exists. However, right-wing émigrés kept the order going abroad.”

She later added, “Many supporters of the Horthy regime were enamored by the Nazis and Hitler and the ‘knights’ were especially so. Put it that way, after 1948 one wouldn’t have bragged about his father being a ‘vitéz.’ Lately, however, especially since 2010, it has become fashionable again to boast about such ‘illustrious’ ancestors.”

Horthy, under Hungary’s center-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has undergone a controversial rehabilitation, with squares renamed in his honor and statues erected.

Gorka’s decision to publicly identify with Vitezi Rend raises questions about Trump’s adviser and the administration’s flirtations with anti-Semitism and the alt-right. It’s even more awkward that he’s the person defending the administration’s explicit omission of Jewish victim of the Holocaust from the Holocaust Remembrance Day statement.

Photo: Sebastian Gorka appearing on Fox News after the inauguration ball.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 77% of refugees since 9th Circuit decision are from the 7 countries on: February 12, 2017, 10:11:34 AM
http://pamelageller.com/2017/02/77-refugees-allowed-come-from-terror-list.html/
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 12, 2017, 12:34:22 AM
https://www.facebook.com/nayaritenlinea.mx/videos/10154208666502256/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
226  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Mexico on: February 12, 2017, 12:33:57 AM
https://www.facebook.com/nayaritenlinea.mx/videos/10154208666502256/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Intruiguing and Disconcerting article on Steve Bannon on: February 12, 2017, 12:31:42 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/europe/bannon-vatican-julius-evola-fascism.html?smid=fb-share
Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists
By JASON HOROWITZFEB. 10, 2017

Stephen K. Bannon referred to the Italian philosopher Julius Evola in a Vatican speech in 2014. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

ROME — Those trying to divine the roots of Stephen K. Bannon’s dark and at times apocalyptic worldview have repeatedly combed over a speech that Mr. Bannon, President Trump’s ideological guru, made in 2014 to a Vatican conference, where he expounded on Islam, populism and capitalism.

But for all the examination of those remarks, a passing reference by Mr. Bannon to an esoteric Italian philosopher has gone little noticed, except perhaps by scholars and followers of the deeply taboo, Nazi-affiliated thinker, Julius Evola.

“The fact that Bannon even knows Evola is significant,” said Mark Sedgwick, a leading scholar of Traditionalists at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Evola, who died in 1974, wrote on everything from Eastern religions to the metaphysics of sex to alchemy. But he is best known as a leading proponent of Traditionalism, a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.

Evola became a darling of Italian Fascists, and Italy’s post-Fascist terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s looked to him as a spiritual and intellectual godfather.

They called themselves Children of the Sun after Evola’s vision of a bourgeoisie-smashing new order that he called the Solar Civilization. Today, the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn includes his works on its suggested reading list, and the leader of Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalist party, admires Evola and wrote an introduction to his works.

More important for the current American administration, Evola also caught on in the United States with leaders of the alt-right movement, which Mr. Bannon nurtured as the head of Breitbart News and then helped harness for Mr. Trump.

“Julius Evola is one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century,” said Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who is a top figure in the alt-right movement, which has attracted white supremacists, racists and anti-immigrant elements.

In the days after the election, Mr. Spencer led a Washington alt-right conference in chants of “Hail Trump!” But he also invoked Evola’s idea of a prehistoric and pre-Christian spirituality — referring to the awakening of whites, whom he called the Children of the Sun.
Photo
Evola, who died in 1974, is best known as a leading light of Traditionalism.

Mr. Spencer said “it means a tremendous amount” that Mr. Bannon was aware of Evola and other Traditionalist thinkers.

“Even if he hasn’t fully imbibed them and been changed by them, he is at least open to them,” he said. “He at least recognizes that they are there. That is a stark difference to the American conservative movement that either was ignorant of them or attempted to suppress them.”

Mr. Bannon, who did not return a request for comment for this article, is an avid and wide-ranging reader. He has spoken enthusiastically about everything from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe, which sees history in cycles of cataclysmic and order-obliterating change. His awareness of and reference to Evola in itself only reflects that reading. But some on the alt-right consider Mr. Bannon a door through which Evola’s ideas of a hierarchical society run by a spiritually superior caste can enter in a period of crisis.

“Evolists view his ship as coming in,” said Prof. Richard Drake at the University of Montana, who wrote about Evola in his book “The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy.”

For some of them, it has been a long time coming.

“It’s the first time that an adviser to the American president knows Evola, or maybe has a Traditionalist formation,” said Gianfranco De Turris, an Evola biographer and apologist based in Rome who runs the Evola Foundation out of his apartment.

“If Bannon has these ideas, we have to see how he influences the politics of Trump,” he said.

A March article titled “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right” in Breitbart, the website then run by Mr. Bannon, included Evola as one of the thinkers in whose writings the “origins of the alternative right” could be found.

The article was co-written by Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur who is wildly popular with conservatives on college campuses. Mr. Trump recently defended Mr. Yiannopoulos as a symbol of free speech after demonstrators violently protested his planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

The article celebrated the youthful internet trolls who give the alt-right movement its energy and who, motivated by a common and questionable sense of humor, use anti-Semitic and racially charged memes “in typically juvenile but undeniably hysterical fashion.”

“It’s hard to imagine them reading Evola,” the article continued. “They may be inclined to sympathize to those causes, but mainly because it annoys the right people.”

Evola, who has more than annoyed people for nearly a century, seems to be having a moment.

“When I started working on Evola, you had to plow through Italian,” said Mr. Sedgwick, who keeps track of Traditionalist movements and thought on his blog, Traditionalists. “Now he’s available in English, German, Russian, Serbian, Greek, Hungarian. First I saw Evola boom, and then I realized the number of people interested in that sort of idea was booming.”
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Born in 1898, Evola liked to call himself a baron and in later life sported a monocle in his left eye.

A brilliant student and talented artist, he came home after fighting in World War I and became a leading exponent in Italy of the Dada movement, which, like Evola, rejected the church and bourgeois institutions.

Evola’s early artistic endeavors gave way to his love of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and he developed a worldview with an overriding animosity toward the decadence of modernity. Influenced by mystical works and the occult, Evola began developing an idea of the individual’s ability to transcend his reality and “be unconditionally whatever one wants.”
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Under the influence of René Guénon, a French metaphysicist and convert to Islam, Evola in 1934 published his most influential work, “The Revolt Against the Modern World,” which cast materialism as an eroding influence on ancient values.

It viewed humanism, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution all as historical disasters that took man further away from a transcendental perennial truth.

Changing the system, Evola argued, was “not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up.”

Evola’s ideal order, Professor Drake wrote, was based on “hierarchy, caste, monarchy, race, myth, religion and ritual.”

That made a fan out of Benito Mussolini.

The dictator already admired Evola’s early writings on race, which influenced the 1938 Racial Laws restricting the rights of Jews in Italy.

Mussolini so liked Evola’s 1941 book, “Synthesis on the Doctrine of Race,” which advocated a form of spiritual, and not merely biological, racism, that he invited Evola to meet him in September of that year.

Evola eventually broke with Mussolini and the Italian Fascists because he considered them overly tame and corrupted by compromise. Instead he preferred the Nazi SS officers, seeing in them something closer to a mythic ideal. They also shared his anti-Semitism.
Photo
A demonstration last month by Golden Dawn, the Greek neo-Nazi party, which includes Evola’s works on a suggested reading list. Credit Michalis Karagiannis/Reuters

Mr. Bannon suggested in his Vatican remarks that the Fascist movement had come out of Evola’s ideas.

As Mr. Bannon expounded on the intellectual motivations of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, he mentioned “Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the Traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian Fascism.”

The reality, historians say, is that Evola sought to “infiltrate and influence” the Fascists, as Mr. Sedgwick put it, as a powerful vehicle to spread his ideas.

In his Vatican talk, Mr. Bannon suggested that although Mr. Putin represented a “kleptocracy,” the Russian president understood the existential danger posed by “a potential new caliphate” and the importance of using nationalism to stand up for traditional institutions.

“We, the Judeo-Christian West,” Mr. Bannon added, “really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as Traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.”

As Mr. Bannon suggested in his speech, Mr. Putin’s most influential thinker is Aleksandr Dugin, the ultranationalist Russian Traditionalist and anti-liberal writer sometimes called “Putin’s Rasputin.”

An intellectual descendant of Evola, Mr. Dugin has called for a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary, and consistent fascist fascism” and advocated a geography-based theory of “Eurasianism” — which has provided a philosophical framework for Mr. Putin’s expansionism and meddling in Western European politics.

Mr. Dugin sees European Traditionalists as needing Russia, and Mr. Putin, to defend them from the onslaught of Western liberal democracy, individual liberty, and materialism — all Evolian bêtes noires.

This appeal of traditional values on populist voters and against out-of-touch elites, the “Pan-European Union” and “centralized government in the United States,” as Mr. Bannon put it, was not lost on Mr. Trump’s ideological guru.

“A lot of people that are Traditionalists,” he said in his Vatican remarks, “are attracted to that.”
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH goes after Flynn on: February 11, 2017, 09:09:07 PM


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/opinion/americas-so-called-national-security-adviser.html?smid=fb-share
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN's Toobin writes a fair article on: February 11, 2017, 08:44:15 PM
http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-vulnerabilities-in-the-ninth-circuits-executive-order-decision

230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maria Bartiromo: Three Muslim employees hack House computers on: February 11, 2017, 08:16:55 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktqdYXd1qJQ
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Feinstein regrets on: February 11, 2017, 08:12:21 PM
Heh heh heh

http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/10/dianne-feinstein-on-filibuster-reform-whoops/?utm_campaign=atdailycaller&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Spengler: Trump is right on: February 11, 2017, 01:38:34 PM
https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2017/02/10/trump-is-right-again-on-one-china/
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Syria's Assad on the Syrian "refugees" on: February 11, 2017, 12:22:55 PM
https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-syrias-assad-tells-yahoo-news-some-refugees-are-definitely-terrorists-182401926.html
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The failure to discuss 8 USC 1182 f) on: February 10, 2017, 04:59:41 PM
http://joshblackman.com/blog/2017/02/10/the-failure-of-the-9th-circuit-to-discuss-8-u-s-c-1182f-allowed-it-to-ignore-justice-jacksons-youngstown-framework/
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jonah Goldberg in fine form on: February 10, 2017, 03:56:44 PM
Dear Reader (including the manufacturers of the Bernie Sanders action figure, now with the seize-the-means-of-production Marxist grip),
One of my favorite scenes of any comedy — and it’s very un-PC — is in Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr. (in blackface!) explains to Ben Stiller that you “never go full retard.” The conversation is about film roles. Well, if you haven’t seen it, watch:
 
Now, I don’t like the term “retard” — and I really don’t like it in political debates. We aim for something loftier here.

Still, the scene came to mind because there should be a similar rule in legal circles: “Never Go Full Ninth Circuit.” Personally, I think it sounds better in Latin: Nolite umquam ire plenus nona circuit (and if any of you Latin pedants send me an e-mail correcting my translation, I will come to your house and scatter your Dungeons and Dragons figurines off the kitchen table).

The other day I noted on Special Report that Antonin Scalia had a rubber stamp on his desk with one of his favorite phrases: “Stupid but Constitutional.” I hope that one day, a Supreme Court justice will have a stamp on his desk that says, Numquam Plenus Nona Circuit.

Anyway, I understand that the case against the Ninth Circuit can be exaggerated. Yes, the West Coast’s federal appellate court has the highest rate of cases that have been oveturned by the Supreme Court, but the vast majority of its cases don’t get appealed to the Supreme Court. Hence the qualifier “Full Ninth Circuit.” Going Full Ninth Circuit is when you claim that that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. That’s a Simple Jack move, not a Rain Man or even a Forrest Gump move.

It’s not that any single one of their findings in the travel-ban case violates the principle of Nolite umquam ire plenus nona circuit,it’s the totality of the thing. For starters, here is what the relevant statute says:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

As Ben Wittes notes:

Remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this statute, which forms the principal statutory basis for the executive order (see Sections 3(c), 5(c), and 5(d) of the order). That’s a pretty big omission over 29 pages, including several pages devoted to determining the government’s likelihood of success on the merits of the case.

This is like the pope changing a major part of Church doctrine without referencing the Bible or a film critic writing a book about mob movies without mentioning The Godfather.

Then there’s the claim that states have standing to challenge this executive order because they have state schools where students or faculty may be affected, thus depriving them of the ability to provide an enriching educational experience. How does this new standard work? Universities would be affected by a draft or a war, can they challenge those policies because it would affect their students? The president, I gather, can order a naval blockade around the United States. That might interrupt some U-Dub student’s planned semester at sea. Shall the commander-in-chief call to make sure he’s not interfering with anyone’s plan to take a few easy courses by day and smoke a lot of hash by night?

The fancy lawyer guys I’ve talked to think the most egregious thing in the ruling is that the judges are concerned about the “potential due process rights” of illegal aliens. This calls to mind Socrates’ famous query: “Huh?”

The executive order is only aimed at people trying to enter the country. If you are an illegal immigrant already here, it has no bearing on you. If you are an illegal immigrant trying to enter or re-enter the United States — illegally! — what are these due-process rights you’re talking about?

But I think the craziest part of the ruling is the idea that a president’s campaign statements have legal weight and could violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. This is battier than Bruce Wayne’s home office. Every cliché-spewing poli-sci major and pundit for the last 17,000 years (give or take) has noted that politicians say one thing when campaigning and another thing when in office. Even Mario Cuomo — that savant at casting banal observations as seemingly brilliant insights — said that we campaign in poetry and govern in prose (Donald Trump changed that to we campaign in limericks and govern in tweets).

Whatever you think of Trump’s original call for a Muslim ban (I think it was ludicrous) the whole point is that Trump did the right thing. He talked to his advisors and they said, “You can’t do that.” So he said, “Okay, what can we do?” And they came up with this executive order. It was shoddily done and on the merits isn’t nearly as vital to American national security as he claims. But that’s my point. He did something vastly less ambitious because the demands of governing required it. The judges responded, in effect, “We don’t care. We’re still going to punish you for it.”

David French is exactly right when he says this ruling is a Pandora’s Box. Where does this retromingent line of legal reasoning end? Barack Obama insisted he would fundamentally transform America and suggested he’d make the oceans recede. Could some judge reviewing an EPA regulation have said, “But the president said . . . ” about that? This is taking the rigorous rules of Twitter logic and putting them into law.

I firmly believe the Trump White House screwed the pooch on this thing from the get-go. By doing so, the president set in motion events that have made things even worse. The Ninth Circuit loves to preen under normal circumstances. The judges took a sloppily rolled out — but ultimately legal — executive order and used it to set potential precedents that, if left standing, will have calamitous repercussions.

If one thinks of the courts as a political institution with collective interests, the smartest thing the Ninth Circuit could have done is say something along the lines of “this is stupid but constitutional.” If they really think Trump is the monster the “resistance” Left thinks he is, they’ll need more, not less, credibility in the days to come. But, much like the mainstream media, they’ve decided that crying wolf from Day One is the preferable way to go. And that’s why they went Plenus nona circuit.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Trump could rein in Sanctuary California on: February 10, 2017, 03:46:04 PM
second post

http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/how-trump-could-rein-in-sanctuary-california/
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California: The Gathering Fustercluck on: February 10, 2017, 03:44:38 PM


http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/californias-debt-bubble-how-does-it-end/
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / CA teacher pension fund issues on: February 10, 2017, 03:19:26 PM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/sand-pension-pilfery/
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grannis: Uncharted Waters on: February 10, 2017, 01:42:49 PM
http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/2017/02/claims-in-uncharted-waters-is-labor.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FtMBeq+%28Calafia+Beach+Pundit%29
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Raheel Raza and the Reformation of Islam in America on: February 10, 2017, 01:37:41 PM
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5775/raheel-raza-hopes-to-be-the-muslim-extremists
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NRO: 9th not just wrong, but dangerous also. on: February 10, 2017, 01:21:43 PM
third post

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444800/ninth-circuit-trump-immigration-order-ruling-separation-powers-national-security
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Long knives out for Flynn on: February 10, 2017, 12:19:30 PM


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/national-security-adviser-flynn-discussed-sanctions-with-russian-ambassador-despite-denials-officials-say/2017/02/09/f85b29d6-ee11-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?utm_term=.21c12d0d423a&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The factual ignorance of Judge Robart on: February 10, 2017, 11:58:43 AM
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2614043?platform=hootsuite
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The factual ignorance of Judge Robart on: February 10, 2017, 11:58:06 AM
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2614043?platform=hootsuite
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / wSJ concurs on scoring Round Two on: February 10, 2017, 11:55:03 AM

By Te-Ping Chen
Updated Feb. 10, 2017 12:19 p.m. ET
199 COMMENTS

BEIJING—China’s wait-and-see approach to U.S. President Donald Trump’s periodic diplomatic outbursts has paid off with the president dropping his threat to upend a cornerstone of Beijing-Washington relations.

After weeks of several phone run-ins with world leaders, Mr. Trump committed to a longstanding agreement that the U.S. won’t recognize Taiwan diplomatically in a phone call with President Xi Jinping late Thursday.

The Trump administration had already moved to temper heated rhetoric around U.S. policy in Asia, and marked a detente in a relationship that was thrown into uncertainty by Mr. Trump’s December phone conversation with Taiwan’s leader, which broke decades of diplomatic protocol.

Beijing, which had made clear to the Trump administration that U.S. adherence to the “One China” policy was an inviolable precondition for relations, praised Mr. Trump’s change of heart. Mr. Xi expressed his appreciation during the call, according to the official Xinhua News agency.
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    Trump Commits to ‘One China’ Policy
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China’s Foreign Ministry also welcomed Mr. Trump’s pledge to uphold the policy, “We appreciate that,” said ministry spokesman Lu Kang, who didn’t directly address in a Friday briefing a question about whether China had had to make any concessions in return.

More than three weeks after Mr. Trump took office, the absence of any call with China, the U.S.’s largest trading partner but also the object of some of Mr. Trump’s sharpest criticism, was growing increasingly conspicuous.

An official briefed on the discussion said Mr. Trump’s comments on the “One China” policy were short compared with long, formulaic assurances made by his predecessors. Putting the call together was the work of many people over many days, the official said.

Mr. Trump’s blunt style has posed a challenge for protocol-conscious Chinese officials wary of unpredictable turns in the conversation. In previous calls with leaders, Mr. Trump chided Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto over the country’s drug cartels and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee-resettlement agreement Australia reached with the Obama administration.

Chinese analysts said Mr. Trump’s change in rhetoric was inevitable. “Some things you don’t need to be anxious to respond with tits-and-tats for,“ said Zhang Ruizhuang, professor of international relations at Nankai University in Tianjin. ”Instead, give him some time, and let him slowly realize things on his own.”

Beijing has taken a measured approach to Mr. Trump’s signals from before he took office that he might walk back the U.S. commitment to the “One China” policy. It protested Mr. Trump’s December call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, but blamed Ms. Tsai for the exchange. Editorials in state media cited Mr. Trump’s inexperience in foreign relations.

China has considered Taiwan a breakaway province since Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists set up a government there in 1949, after years of civil war.

    ‘The most important thing is that Trump accepts the ‘One China’ policy, but that certainly doesn’t mean that his China policies are fully formed.’
    —Zhu Feng, a professor focusing on international relations at Nanjing University

The call between the two leaders means work can now start on a crowded agenda in U.S.-China relations, beset by discord over trade as well as the North Korean nuclear threat and Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.

“The most important thing is that Trump accepts the ‘One China’ policy, but that certainly doesn’t mean that his China policies are fully formed,” said Zhu Feng, a professor focusing on international relations at Nanjing University.

Mr. Trump has been vocal in his criticisms of Chinese currency and trade policy, and threatened during his campaign to slap a 45% trade tariff on Chinese goods and declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

Since his inauguration, Mr. Trump has yet to carry out such combative actions, but his heated rhetoric has caused anxiety, including in the U.S. business community in China, which feared repercussions against American companies amid a possible deterioration in ties.

In recent days, the Trump administration had sought to clarify its approach to Asia. Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis paid visits to U.S. allies South Korea and Japan to reassure them that the U.S. plans to continue stationing troops in both countries, following suggestions by Mr. Trump that their presence—which serves as a bulwark against military incursions by Beijing and Pyongyang—was too costly for the U.S.

Similarly, prior to his confirmation as Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson walked back previous statements that the U.S. might block China’s access to islands it has built in the South China Sea, saying that the U.S. should be “capable” of limiting such access, should a contingency occur.

In written answers provided to the Senate, Mr. Tillerson also indicated he intended to adhere to the “One China” policy, saying Taiwan “should not be treated as a bargaining chip.”

Mr. Trump’s December call with Ms. Tsai had sparked both celebrations and anxiety in Taiwan, including fears that the island might become a chess piece in U.S.-Chinese relations.

In a statement released following the Trump-Xi call, Taiwan’s top agency for policy toward Beijing expressed hopes that the U.S. would continue to support the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and urged Beijing to engage in dialogue over differences with the self-ruled island.

On social media, Chinese users rejoiced on Friday at Mr. Trump’s acceding to the “One China” policy. “America is so scared of China, Trump’s called to surrender!” wrote one user on the country’s Twitter-like Weibo platform. “Trump must not have heard of that old Chinese saying: You can escape at first, but not for long!” said another.

—Kersten Zhang contributed to this article.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The unprecedented and dangerous use of campaign statements by the 9th. on: February 10, 2017, 11:51:59 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/02/09/the-9th-circuits-dangerous-and-unprecedented-use-of-campaign-statements-to-block-presidential-policy/?utm_term=.219010d4cd7e
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Noonan: What do you want us from us? on: February 10, 2017, 11:34:10 AM
 By Peggy Noonan
Feb. 9, 2017 7:48 p.m. ET
233 COMMENTS

Let’s step back from the daily chaos and look at a big, pressing question. Last fall at a defense forum a significant military figure was asked: If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one big thing you’d give the U.S. military right now?

We’d all been talking about the effects of the sequester and reform of the procurement system and I expected an answer along those lines. Instead he said: We need to know what the U.S. government wants from us. We need to know the overarching plan because if there’s no higher plan we can’t make plans to meet the plan.

This was freshly, bluntly put, and his answer came immediately, without pause.

The world is in crisis. The old order that more or less governed things after World War II has been swept away. The changed world that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall is also over.

    Make Inaugurals Dignified Again

    Advice for the new president on his first day—and for the media covering it.

    Click to Read Story

    Shining a Light on ‘Back Row’ America

    Chris Arnade, a photographer whose travels and pictures reveal an America that is battered but standing, a society that is atomized but holding on.

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    The Smartest Thing I Heard in 2016

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More By Peggy Noonan

We’ve been absorbing this for a while, since at least 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea. But what plan are we developing to approach the world as it is now?

I always notice that a day after a terrible tornado hits the Midwest the television crews swarm in and film the victims picking through what’s left. People literally stand where their house was, their neighborhood was. In shock, they point at some flattened debris and say, “That was our living room.” They rummage around, find a photo. “This was my son’s wedding.”

That’s sort of what a lot of those interested in foreign policy have been doing in recent years—staring in shock at the wreckage.

But something has to be rebuilt. Everyone now has to be an architect, or a cement-pourer, or a master craftsman carpenter.

It’s been instructive the past week to reread a small classic of statecraft, “Present at the Creation” by Dean Acheson, published in 1969. As undersecretary and then secretary of state he was involved in the creation of the postwar order.

After the war the world was in crisis, much of it in collapse. “The period was marked by the disappearance of world powers and empires, or their reduction to medium-sized states, and from this wreckage emerged a multiplicity of states . . . all of them largely undeveloped politically and economically. Overshadowing all loomed two dangers to all—the Soviet Union’s new-found power and expansive imperialism, and the development of nuclear weapons.” The Cold War had begun. China was in civil war, about to fall to communism. Europe’s economy had been destroyed. Europe and Asia were “in a state of utter exhaustion and economic dislocation.” The entire world seemed to be “disintegrating.”

What came after the crisis was the Marshall Plan, in which the U.S., itself exhausted by the war, helped its allies, and enemies, survive and resist communism. The objective, as the Truman administration declared it, was not relief but revival—spending American money to bring back agriculture, industry and trade. New financing was needed from Congress, in amounts then thought impossible—hundreds of millions that became billions.

It was an effort appropriate to its time. Apart from its essential good—millions didn’t die of starvation, nations such as Greece did not fall to communism—it brought America more than half a century of the world’s sometimes grudging but mostly enthusiastic admiration. They now knew we were not only a powerful nation but a great people. This was not unhelpful in times of crisis down the road.

It is exciting at a time like this to read of the development of a successful foreign-policy effort from conception to execution. And—how to say it?—Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is inspiring. This was not a deeply brilliant man, not a grand strategist, but more a manager who was a good judge of others’ concepts. He could see facts—he had sturdy sight—and spy implications. He had the gift of natural confidence. He could also be clueless: One of his most respected aides was the Soviet spy Alger Hiss.

But Acheson was gutsy, willing to throw the long ball, and a first-rate appreciator of the gifts of others. He thought George Marshall, who preceded him as secretary of state, the greatest American military figure since George Washington. He is moving on the subject of Harry Truman. You are lucky if you can love a president you serve, and he did. Unlike FDR, Truman was not devious but plain in his dealings; also unlike FDR, he was not cold at the core but available. After Truman left office, a friend of Acheson’s, visiting the new White House, was told as a man went into the Oval Office: “Oh, he’s going in to cheer up the president.” Acheson’s friend replied, “That’s funny, in our day the president used to cheer us up.”

Acheson: “Harry S. Truman was two men. One was the public figure—peppery, sometimes belligerent, often didactic, the ‘give-’em-hell’ Harry. The other was the patient, modest, considerate and appreciative boss, helpful and understanding in all official matters, affectionate in any private worry or sorrow.” Truman “learned from mistakes (though he seldom admitted them), and did not waste time bemoaning them.”

What is inspiring about Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is that he’s like a lot of those we have developing foreign policy right now.

Acheson, though he did not present it this way, provides useful lessons for future diplomats in future crises.

• Everyone’s in the dark looking for the switch. When you’re in the middle of history the meaning of things is usually unclear. “We all had far more than the familiar difficulty of determining the capabilities and intentions of those who inhabit the planet with us.” In real time most things are obscure. “We groped after interpretations of [events], sometimes reversed lines of action based on earlier views, and hesitated before grasping what now seems obvious.” “Only slowly did it dawn upon us that the whole world structure and order that we had inherited from the nineteenth century was gone.”

• D on’t mess things up at the beginning. Acheson’s insight was that it wouldn’t work to put forward the Marshall Plan and then try to sell it to the public. The way to go was to explain to Congress and the public the exact nature of the crisis. This, he believed, would shock both into facing facts. While they were doing that, a plan to deal with the crisis was being developed. “We could not afford a false start.”

• Be able to see your work soberly. Keep notes so history will know what happened. “Our efforts for the most part left conditions better than we found them,” Acheson says. Especially in Europe, which was dying and went on to live.

• Cheer up. Good things can come of bad times, great things from fiercely imperfect individuals.

• Even though you’ll wind up disappointed. All diplomats in the end feel frustrated over missed opportunities and achievements that slipped away. “Alas, that is life. We cannot live our dreams.”

Still to be answered: What is America’s strategy now—our overarching vision, our big theme and intent? What are the priorities? How, now, to navigate the world?

That soldier needs an answer to his question: What do you need from us? What’s the plan?
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: The Reps' Health Care Offensive on: February 10, 2017, 07:51:37 AM
The GOP’s Health-Care Offensive
A new coalition aims to pitch Republicans’ ObamaCare overhaul to the wider public.
Photo: Getty Images
By Kimberley A. Strassel
Updated Feb. 9, 2017 7:45 p.m. ET
149 COMMENTS

When Dave Hoppe recalls his first big health-care fight, one memory stands out. It was the summer of 1994, and Sen. George Mitchell, the Democratic majority leader, had canceled August recess to force a debate over his party’s health-care monster: HillaryCare.

Senators weren’t happy about losing their break, remembers Mr. Hoppe, who at the time was an aide. “And yet, Republican senators were lining up in the cloakroom; they couldn’t wait to get to the floor,” he says. “They knew this issue. They’d studied it. They were better informed than Democrats about HillaryCare. There was such an esprit de corps. It was energizing.”

Twenty-three years later, Mr. Hoppe’s mission is to re-create that energy—only this time for a Republican Party that wants to pass a health-care bill, not stop one. He is helping to assemble a sweeping new alliance—underground until now—called One Nation Health. This “inside-out” coalition—a fast-growing collection of elected officials, staffers, grass-roots groups, think tanks, trade associations, donors and corporations—will serve as the GOP’s voice for selling the country on a “replace/repair” plan for ObamaCare.

One Nation Health is the brainchild of another veteran of the policy wars: David Wilson, the CEO of a Midwestern company called Asset Health. An advocate for individual health empowerment, Mr. Wilson has been in the arena since the Reagan days, and has recently worked on the leading conservative blueprints for reform.

   
Mr. Wilson grew concerned after last fall’s election that Republicans weren’t coordinating to explain what underpinned their ideas. “The right-of-center approach has a set of core principles—with regards to greater access, benefits, choices, health savings, responsibility, rewards to all Americans,” he says. “It is a unifying concept, and one [that] people can understand.”

One of his first calls was to an old friend, Mr. Hoppe, a respected D.C. fixture, both off Capitol Hill (as a consultant) and on (most recently as chief of staff to Paul Ryan). Mr. Hoppe was also concerned by GOP inaction, especially given the depth of determination on the left to thwart reform.

Mr. Hoppe had watched as powerful liberal groups, such as Families USA, launched a save-ObamaCare coalition within 24 hours of the 2016 election. He had seen Democrats begin a full-throated scare campaign about the risks of ending the health law. He had heard that deep-pocketed donors were committing to fund a massive PR effort. He had even witnessed President Obama sojourn to Capitol Hill to exhort Democrats to do whatever necessary to defend his signature law. Mr. Hoppe knew that the right needed its own campaign, and he agreed to help Mr. Wilson set up One Nation Health.

The umbrella group isn’t a policy shop. It isn’t a vehicle to push one GOP health plan over another. And it isn’t a lobbying outfit intended to corral votes in a legislative debate.

Instead, One Nation Health is a clearinghouse, a place for conservatives to meet, share notes, craft messages for the public, and unite on talking points. It will facilitate progress between Congress and the White House. The model was used successfully in 1993-94 by former Sens. Phil Gramm and Paul Coverdell in the fight against HillaryCare, leading to moments, like the Harry and Louise ads, that tipped the scale.

Mr. Hoppe spends every day on calls, and he held the group’s first big meeting two weeks ago. The coalition includes everyone from health policy gurus like the American Enterprise Institute’s James Capretta and the Heritage Foundation’s Bob Moffit to advocacy groups like the American Action Network, which is already running $1 million worth of TV ads, in 15 House districts, arguing for an ObamaCare replacement. Congressional leadership is on board. Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, addressed the group’s inaugural session. Mr. Hoppe says people are joining so fast that his biweekly conference calls are ballooning.

What they all understand: “We’ve got to explain to Americans that the end of ObamaCare doesn’t mean going back to the old system,” Mr. Hoppe says. “It’s about creating a whole new, better system.” That message might help buy Republicans some time to get a reform in place.

Another thing One Nation Health is: an experiment. The right is great at opposing things. It isn’t so great at unifying in support of ideas. Can the GOP flip the HillaryCare model on its head? The One Nation Health umbrella is a first big attempt to answer that question. The hope is that the very act of focusing conservatives on shared themes will remind them how much they have in common. If it works, it could be a model for other big reform efforts.

If it fails, Mr. Hoppe doesn’t like to consider the consequences. “Not everyone is going to get what they want in any reform effort,” he says. “But we’re here to remind people that this is an opportunity of a generation. And if we aren’t successful now, it’ll be generations before we get another shot.”

Write to kim@wsj.com.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Trade Punishment for Trump Voters on: February 10, 2017, 07:49:04 AM
Trade Punishment for Trump Voters
Protectionism is already hurting the Farm Belt.
Updated Feb. 9, 2017 10:59 p.m. ET


President Trump meets with Shinzo Abe on Friday, and one subject is sure to be trade. The Japanese Prime Minister may be too diplomatic to say it, but someone should tell Mr. Trump the damage that his trade policies are already doing to the rural and farm-state voters who put him in the White House.

This year the U.S. is expected to export $134 billion in agricultural goods, from pork to nuts to corn and much more. Exports contribute about 20% of U.S. farm income, and U.S. agriculture ran a $19.5 billion global trade surplus in 2015. The No. 1 state for exports is California, which is home to high-value crops like lettuce and grapes. But Mr. Trump carried 11 of the top 15 exporting states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana and Texas.

The nearby table shows how much American farmers rely on exports. Some 72% of U.S. tree nuts are exported, and roughly half of all rice, soybeans and wheat. Rice is grown in solid Republican states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri; soybeans are cash cows for Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. Root plants like ginseng are exported from Michigan and Wisconsin, mainly to China.

The second table shows that Mr. Trump’s protectionist threats are aimed at countries that are the biggest buyers of U.S. farm products. Of the top 11 U.S. export destinations, seven are in Asia and Japan and Vietnam are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Mr. Trump abandoned in his first week. The Farm Bureau says that pact would have raised U.S. farm incomes by $4.4 billion by reducing trade barriers in these and other markets. Japan, with its high incomes and 19% average tariff on U.S. farm goods, is a particular lost opportunity.

Mr. Trump also says he might impose tariffs on China, which could invite retaliation. In 2015 China bought nearly $21 billion in U.S. agricultural goods, up 200% since 2006 and almost 15% of total U.S. farm exports.

Then there’s his threat to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, though U.S. farm exports have quadrupled to Canada and Mexico since Nafta took effect in 1994. The irony here is that Mexico made farm-trade concessions because it was so desperate for access to U.S. markets. A Nafta redo may be less favorable to Americans.

It isn’t clear if Mr. Trump will withdraw from Nafta, but recall what happened when the U.S. violated the deal in the past. When the U.S. closed the southern border to Mexican trucks in 2009, Mexico retaliated with tariffs that hit U.S. fruit and vegetable exporters hard. Growers lost market share and income until the truck dispute was settled.

Dairy exports to Mexico alone support some 30,000 American jobs, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and many are manufacturing jobs in rural areas. Americans who lose their jobs in a Trump trade war may have a hard time understanding how this helps the working class.

Global competition has forced U.S. farmers to become efficient and productive, but the reality is that other countries have arable land and willing labor. They can replace U.S. agriculture in a tariff war. Australia has a trade deal with Japan, and exports Down Under will have an advantage over American beef and wheat. U.S. beef imports to Japan will face high tariffs that the Trans-Pacific deal would have phased out or reduced. Mexico has bilateral trade deals with Chile, the European Union and others, and may buy more from Canada.

The bigger political picture for the Trump White House is that U.S. agriculture is already struggling amid a strong dollar and declining export volumes. Net farm income dropped 15% to about $68 billion last year, the lowest since 2009, according to the Agriculture Department. Unless Mr. Trump wants to compensate with more taxpayer subsidies, the best way to boost incomes is to let farmers sell in more markets, not fewer.

One reason the U.S. benefits from free-trade deals is that America has among the lowest import barriers on earth (5% average for agriculture), so new agreements tear down levies abroad and open new markets. President Trump should consider that reality before escalating on trade—and betraying the Farm Belt voters who are relying on him to bring growth and opportunity.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ on the 9th Circuit decision on: February 10, 2017, 07:46:12 AM
Trump’s Judicial Debacle
The botched immigration order has given judges a chance to restrict executive power over national security.
Protesters stand in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, Feb. 7.
Protesters stand in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, Feb. 7. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Feb. 9, 2017 11:03 p.m. ET
334 COMMENTS

President Trump’s immigration executive order has been a fiasco from the start, but the damage is spreading as a federal appeals court on Thursday declined to lift a legal blockade. Now the White House order has become an opening for judges to restrict the power of the political branches to conduct foreign policy.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Seattle judge’s nationwide temporary restraining order against the refugee pause and travel suspension from seven countries with heightened terrorism risks. The court ruled that the government wasn’t likely to prevail on the merits in a suit brought by Washington state and Minnesota.

The liberals and never-Trump conservatives who’ve spent months predicting the arrival of American fascism are suddenly breast-beating about U.S. checks and balances. Apparently they lack confidence in American institutions unless they’re running them. But while we opposed Mr. Trump’s order on policy grounds, there is reason to worry now about judicial overreach.
***

Remarkably, the three-judge panel’s 29-page decision doesn’t discuss the Supreme Court’s Youngstown doctrine, which teaches that the President’s actions are most legitimate under the Constitution when the executive works in concert with Congress. The plain text of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act gives the executive exclusive authority to suspend “the entry of any class of alien” that “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

The Ninth Circuit also made a hash of the important limit on the judicial power called standing. The courts are only supposed to hear cases with specific and concrete injuries that they can resolve. Washington and Minnesota asserted vague and speculative harms to their public university systems, like being deprived of hypothetical talented immigrant students in the future. That’s not good enough under traditional Supreme Court standing doctrine.

Instead, the Ninth Circuit panel held that Mr. Trump’s order violated due process, such as ample notice of the new policy and a hearing for those affected. That might be true for lawful permanent residents travelling abroad, who were first included in the order and then excised under a memo from White House Counsel Don McGahn. (Then they, and not the states, should sue.)

But the Ninth Circuit’s due-process claims even apply to some categories of foreign nationals overseas who have yet to enter the country. The opinion repeatedly cites the Boumediene v. Bush decision of 2008, when the Supreme Court held that the enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay have a right to challenge their detention by the government.

But the reach of that 5-4 decision was at least cabined to habeas corpus, not a general license to extend constitutional rights willy-nilly to noncitizens. With the Boumediene precedent as a weapon, the Ninth Circuit decision jeopardizes core executive powers over national security. Unelected judges are inviting themselves to serve as policy makers who supervise foreign affairs, and where that impulse stops nobody knows.

The panel notes repeatedly that the Justice Department submitted “no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has ever perpetrated a terrorist attack,” as if the job of judges is to second-guess the executive branch. Yet last year the Department of Homeland Security reported that some 60 individuals born in the seven countries on Mr. Trump’s list have been convicted of domestic terror-related crimes since 9/11. That’s partly why Congress and President Obama singled the countries out for increased visa scrutiny.

But Justice didn’t cite these figures at oral arguments, probably because the Administration’s appeal has been as rushed and slipshod as the order itself. The secret and ad hoc drafting of the new policy by aides Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, with no public explanation and an incompetent rollout, has created an opening that willful judges can use to exceed their powers.
***

The Trump Administration can now appeal to the Supreme Court, but the wiser course would be to withdraw the order, which would make the Seattle and other cases moot. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Congress this week that he regrets the order didn’t go through the normal channels.

The best option for Mr. Trump is to scrap the order and trust Mr. Kelly to do refugee vetting, but if the President insists on a new order than at least run it through extreme vetting. Consult with Congress and security experts, and make sure the attorneys lock down a legal and constitutional replacement.

The alternative is a possible bloodbath at the High Court. The best Mr. Trump can hope for is a 4-4 split that would uphold the Ninth Circuit ruling. But Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion and human-rights jurisprudence are implicated via Boumediene, and a 5-3 defeat is more likely, perhaps worse if Mr. Trump keeps denouncing the judiciary.

Presidents who tee themselves up as the mad Twitter king are rarely saved by judicial modesty. The Ninth Circuit ruling could be a fresh start for Mr. Trump to correct a mistake and then earn a national-security victory, if he’ll take it.
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